Parking the car as she arrived home she realized her hands were shaking. Vanessa sat for a minute and took deep breaths before she finally let herself into the house. Pouring herself a glass of wine she thought hard about what her “gift” had brought her.
So it wasn’t James after all. Sarah was involved with another man. A monster, it would seem. One who had some sort of hold on her? What now, she wondered. Poor Sarah. She couldn’t get his eyes out her mind. This man was capable of anything, of that she was sure.
She wondered with a rising sense of alarm if her ruse had worked. Did he believe she had simply knocked on the wrong door? If not she could be in real danger. She went to the window and peeked outside, then drew the curtains.
What sort of hold did he have over Sarah? How had she gotten herself into this? It was all just too much. Vanessa told herself she had to stay out of it. But how could she? She knew too much. Perhaps she should go to James. No, that would be folly. This man had to be stopped. The police needed to become aware of him that would put an end to the matter. But how could she make that happen? Had he broken any laws?
She couldn’t believe the plan that was forming in her mind. It was dangerous. It was mad. Why did she care what happened to Sarah? Someone had to. It was that simple. She made herself a promise she wouldn’t get in harm’s way she’d just do some amateur sleuthing and see what she could find out. Surely a man like this was involved in illegal things.
Satisfied that she had a way forward she sat down to do some work and let her mind take a rest from the frightful events of the last few hours. Her respite was short lived. A knock on the door brought the matter back to the fore.
“Hi Vanessa. Are you busy? Can I come in?”
Sarah looked like she’d been through hell. Dried tears on her cheeks tugged at Vanessa’s heartstrings.
“Oh Sarah, come in here. Sit down. Can I get you anything?”
“No, I just…I need to talk to you. You said you wanted to be friends…”
“And I meant it.”
Vanessa resisted the urge to touch her. She wasn’t sure she could handle any more hard images.
Sarah folded her hands in her lap and looked down at the carpet as she spoke.
“We don’t know each all that well but I have no one else to turn to. I have to tell you something that will shock you. Please don’t judge me, okay?”
“Sarah, it’s okay. I have a confession to make myself. I knew something was going on with you.”
Sarah nodded slowly and then looked up.
“I know Vanessa. I just got a phone call. You must have followed me today.”
The shock hit her like a hammer and Vanessa could only sit dumbfounded and listen.
“You shouldn’t have knocked on the door Vanessa. He knows who you are now.”
“But…but how? I…”
“He followed you outside. He wrote down your license plate number. He has ways of finding out whatever he wants to know. What were you doing?”
Vanessa felt her face flush. Coupled with the fear rising in her it left her near helplessness.
“Oh Sarah. I wanted to help you. I knew you were in some sort of trouble.”
Sarah shook her head and looked back down at the carpet.
“This is bad Vanessa. Very bad.”
Tomorrow – Part 6